By IVY JACKSON
Times Staff Reporter
Officials at the Clay County Sheriff's Department confirmed to The Brazil Times late Sunday evening that three suspects were arrested in connection with a stolen credit card that funded a recent Wal-Mart shopping spree.
On Sunday, Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton and other officers served a search warrant at a storage unit at an undisclosed location in Vigo County. The result was the arrest of Abby Hobby-St. Dennis, Michael St. Dennis and Justin D. Haas.
On Jan. 8, a credit card was stolen from an unidentified Clay County resident's vehicle that was parked in their driveway.
Later, an unidentified man and woman, along with a toddler, were apparently caught on surveillance video at a Wal-Mart in southern Terre Haute using the stolen credit card to pay for an extravagant shopping spree that included purchases of a wide screen television and diapers.
While the man attempted to hide from the in-store cameras, the woman did not.
After the surveillance footage was shown on a WTHI TV-10 CrimeStoppers segment, officials said tips about the identity of the suspects began to pour into the department.
CCSD deputies later recovered the couple's vehicle, a gold/rust colored Thunderbird with a luggage rack on the trunk, in a Terre Haute alley.
"The main thing people need to remember is to never keep a purse, wallet or anything valuable in a vehicle (whether locked or unlocked)," Clay County Sheriff's Dept. Sgt. Jeff Maynard said Sunday. "People need to keep track of where their credit cards are at all times, and if lost or stolen notify the credit card company immediately before they can be used."
Maynard said credit card companies can "red flag" a card to protect the card owner from any charges that may be inflicted by thieves.
Officials said further release of case information by the department would be limited to protect the integrity of the case.